Dear Readers… January 17, 2017

I think I’m going to take a page put of Kathleen Kelly’s book in You’ve Got Mail and begin as though we’re in the middle of a conversation… Or, maybe I’ll just talk. Or maybe… Who knows…

I’ve been writing and wondering and second guessing every word, every phrase, every scene. Time is really of the essence and I don’t have it to waste. This is a busy writing year. Or supposed to be.

See, I’m going to end something in a way that will pass off the majority of people who read it. That’s just all there is to it.

It’s like in Stranger Than Fiction. Emma Thompson’s character Karen is at a point in her novel where she doesn’t know how to kill off her main character. She doesn’t believe in writer’s block, but she’s struggling to land on the death of this man.

I was struggling, too. Not on how to kill a character, but on how to end a book.

How do you end something when you never intended it to be what it became? How do you do that without passing people off? The truth is, you can’t. I can’t.

People will hate it. Readers will be disappointed. Upset. And that’s rather daunting for me and perhaps other writers as well. To know that I’ve written a tale that has made someone else FEEL something.

But if those who read it, dislike it… Then I’ve done my job. Then I’ve stayed true to what had evolved across the pages. Do I want that? To have my words disliked, my work reviewed harshly? No. I’d rather people love it. It’s much easier when they love it than when they hate it. At least, that’s what we tell ourselves.

Staying true to the work, to the words, to the characters… That’s my real duty. And once I freed my brain of the knots holding my creativity hostage, the What if’s, the Maybe I should’s, the Oh no, I can’t do that’s… That’s when I landed on what I am supposed to do, what the characters and events are leading me toward.

After all, it’s their story. Not mine. Not yours, the readers. But the story belongs to the characters.

One of my favorite lines in yet another movie, Wonder Boys, a classmate says of another’s writing, “He respects us enough to forget us. And that takes courage.”

I’ve quoted that line before on the blog and it has relevance here again.

I respect everyone who reads my books. I respect their opinions, whether good or bad. But I can’t write the story anyone else wants. I can’t only write the story that belongs to the characters who’ve come to life through me.

~lissa

 

(Movie images courtesy of IMDB)

Mari Carr’s Wild Irish Kindle World is Coming Soon!

I haven’t announced this myself yet, but couldn’t hold my breath any longer and wanted to let you know, dear readers, that I will be participating in Mari Carr’s Wild Irish Kindle World.

The first release launch will be April 6th, so mark that on your calendars!

There are so many jaw dropping, incredibly talented authors participating and joining this Kindle World. I am so humbled that Mari said yes and is letting me be part of it.

Just look at this list of names… These are some pinch me I must be dreaming names to write alongside.

Erin Nicholas
Lexxie Couper
Bianca D’Arc
Desiree Holt
Taryn Quinn
Rhian Cahill
Melanie Shawn
Heather Hiestand
Elle Boon

These names will be in the October release launch. There may even be more added

Amanda McIntyre
Cathryn Fox
Katy Alexander
VA Charles
Suzanne Rock
Amy Gregory
Lauren Hawkeye
River Wilson

The title of my book will be Wild Ever After and as soon as I get the cover, I’ll be showing it off everywhere.

There is a Facebook group for you to join if you’re interested. It will keep you up to day on all things Wild Irish from Mari herself and from all the participating authors in the Wild Irish Kindle World. Click below to be taken to the group so you can join us!

Wild Irish Facebook Group

I think that’s all for now. I’ll keep you updated on things as they come about.

Oh, and if you haven’t read the Wild Irish series by Mari Carr yet, the first book, Come Monday, is free! So, get it and start reading!

If you have the original Wild Irish series, did you know about the new series? Wilder Irish? The first book, January Girl, just came out this month! You should probably download it, too.

Have a great day, y’all!

~lissa

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Music Monday – Lindsey Stirling feat. Lzzy Hale: Shatter Me

I Love Lindsey Stirling. So. Much. She’s got the most incredible and amazing talent.

The visualization in her videos is simply stunning. They tell a story through music and those types of videos have always been my favorite since the 80’s and the mini-movies that Duran Duran’s music videos seemed to be.

I hope y’all are doing well so far in January… It’s been cold. We have snow and ice and a couple of snow days. I’ve been keeping busy with writing and revising and you’ll soon have a new old book to download.

~lissa

Why My Old Books Get An Overhaul

When I get an older book back from a publisher or in the case of Christmas Wishes, out of an anthology, I tend to not release it back into the wild blue yonder of the book world without a few tweaks.

I often go back and add words. Most of the time, double what it was originally, or more. Different writers have different philosophies about revisions on older books, but here’s mine, or at least, here’s one of mine… There’s more to the story than was previously told.

Take, for instance, The Swing. It is a re-release from Ellora’s Cave. It was part of a line of theirs that limited word count to a certain number. No more than 13K or maybe it was 15K. I told the very basics of the story to meet those requirements. I did that a lot. I could write a fairly completely story in 15K words or less. I didn’t write a lot of extraneous words. I didn’t use a lot of backstory. I simply told what needed to be told right then and there.

Other things that were considered when writing for publishers, was price points. The longer the book, the higher the price and a lot of readers balked at paying $5 for a 20,000 word ebook.

With many of my older books, my first books, they were short for those specific reasons. But now that I self publish most of my writing, I can play with price and I can add length, give more story to the readers.

I don’t write long winded epics. I don’t write sagas. I don’t write 300 books in a series. I don’t write 400 page novels.

I write novellas. It’s where I’ve been most comfortable and happiest. I’ve been experimenting with length and series or on-going tales and I’ve enjoyed it and will begin incorporating more of those things in my work. But I primarily write novellas. 40K max for most.

My books don’t change the world, but for a couple of hours in someone’s day, they can change a mood, a moment, provide an escape from reality. Some readers don’t want to spend 3 days reading the same book. I don’t. I like all in one sitting books.

I have added new scenes and extended scenes and changed scenes in The Swing. I have added a bit more emotion. A lot more tears. The sex is still there and is still hot. But I am leaving the time frame of a few years after 9/11. It works for the book. It works for the story. It works for the characters. I’ve freshened things up some. And I think that’s important with books coming back from publishers. As indie authors, we have the freedom to make those decisions now and I like that.

And I’m glad that you, my readers, have enjoyed the books that I’ve re-released, re-worked, and made new again.

~lissa

10K Weekends for Writers – January 5-8, 2017

Happy New Year, Writers!

It’s a new year and another chance for us to write ALL THE WORDS!

I pledge to be better at this. And I hope… Like really, really hope I can’t get more people involved. This could be such a fun thing, if I could just get it to grow.

So, the way this works is…

From today, Thursday, January 5th through Sunday, January 8th, you, me, whoever, writes or aims to write 10,000 words. Broken down that’s 2500 words a day for 4 days. It’s a lot, or it sounds like a lot. I’ve been averaging about 1000 words a day this week on revisions. I’d like more.

I have several WIPs going and haven’t decided yet which one I’m going to pull out and try to make some progress on. Yet. I’ll have that decided by the end of dinner.

There is a Linky at the bottom of the post where you can add your name and website, blog, etc…

You can grab the button from the sidebar if you’d like for your own site or for social media. The hashtag is #10kweekendsforwriters

Invite your friends or your enemies. I don’t care. I’d just like to have a crowd of people this year join in.

Leave a comment with what you’re working on or just with your starting word count. Or, leave a comment on social media (don’t forget the hashtag #10kweekendsforwriters) with your starting word count and throughout the weekend with your progress and with your final word count on Sunday evening.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Otherwise, get writing!

~lissa

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